This story was originally published and last updated .
LG's Stylo 5 launched almost a year ago with Android Pie. When we reviewed it, we noted the device had good design and amazing battery life, but its prospects for software updates were unclear due to LG's history. While the future's still far from certain, we're happy to see that LG is finally getting around to giving the phone a major refresh, with the company starting to turn the Stylo 5's Android 10 update loose on the wild.
The LG Stylo 5 is a budget alternative to Samsung's Note series of phones, featuring a passive stylus for drawing, tapping, and whatever else you can use a stylus for. The phone has gone on sale plenty of times before, but now it seems to be at an all-time-low price, at just $169.99.
Google is always hard at work on adding ARCore support to new devices. This time around, those include the brand-new Note10 and 10+, but other than that, a bigger shift has occurred on the company's AR front – that is, if you count marketing and naming schemes as big shifts. The catchy ARCore Play Store listing makes way for the cumbersome phrase "Google Play Service for AR." The change has already been visible for a while, but the company only introduced the new name in the app's changelog last week, along with announcing support for 60fps rendering on capable devices.
If you're on the lookout for a stylus-toting smartphone, the Galaxy Note series has traditionally been your only option. Unfortunately, these cost a pretty penny (except for the Note 3 Neo which Samsung sold for a hot minute), so customers on a budget were left out. LG has targetted the Note customer on a budget with the LG Stylo 5, and AT&T just announced its own variant, the Stylo 5+.
The LG Stylo 5, the company's newest stylus-equipped smartphone, comes in several variants: carrier-specific, unlocked, and an Amazon-exclusive version with some preloaded Amazon apps. If you've been itching to try a stylus-equipped phone at a very reasonable price point, the Amazon variant is on sale for just $220, which is $80 below the regular price.
The LG Stylo 5 is the latest iteration of LG's super-popular stylus-enabled phone. It was released a few months ago, but only recently has it been available carrier-unlocked. Now you can get the unlocked version for $229.99, which is much closer to what the carrier-locked variants are priced at ($200 from Cricket, $180 from Boost).
It's undeniable that the Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ are the "best" stylus phones you can buy, but they're incredibly expensive. If you want a stylus that lives in your phone and don't feel like spending $1,000 to get it, the LG Stylo 5 might do the trick. This phone is easier to get now that it's available unlocked in the US, priced at $299.99.
The LG Stylo series has been a staple offering at prepaid carrier stores for years. The stylus-equipped Stylo 4 received fairlypositivereviews when it was released last year, and now LG has followed it up with a sequel.
The Stylo 5 impressed me with its good design and amazing battery life, but it has the same faults as many of LG's other recent phones — including a clunky software experience and no guarantee of future Android updates. Still, there's a lot to like for around $200.